Several years ago, my father sent me iris bulbs that he had split from a set that once grew in his grandmother’s garden. I planted my bulbs alongside the hostas and peach tree in the backyard and they grew vibrant stems and leaves. But there were no flowers. The bulbs multiplied each year, as iris bulbs do, but Spring continued to come and go without flowers.
I did some reading about iris bulbs and fertilized the iris bed. But no flowers emerged. I’m not going to say that I gave up hope, because that is not the kind of gardener I am, but I did begin to idly wonder if I would ever see blooms. Last Spring, deep purple flowers emerged for the first time. This Spring, even more flowers arrived.
I love the history of these flowers and enjoy the fact that both my father and I have a share of flowers that once grew in his grandmother’s rural Missouri garden. There is something to be learned from an iris bulb, which can be shared and multiplied without losing any of its beauty. My father is the person who taught me to garden and it continues to be a joy (and occasional frustration) that we share. I remember these flowers in his garden when I was a kid. That they now grow in mine is lovely. In these irises, I see years of memories alongside the beauty.